Last Sunday saw me finally finding both the time accompanied by decent weather to go exploring and try out my 3D camera.
Because I have not used this camera before I was unsure if its mechanics functioned properly and was conscious that all my invested time to date might be wasted and that I may have to rethink how to achieve my desired stereoscopic images.
The Wray Stereo Graphic Camera has five exposure settings marked Cloudy, Hazy, Bright, Brilliant and f/16. (Translated to f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11 and f/16). An exposure meter can be used to calculate the correct exposure. Calculations being made on 1/50th second.
Film loaded it was now time to take some experimental exposures. To get the most out of the camera I chose to photograph scenes that had pronounced fore, middle and backgrounds. When setting up the camera it is best to use a tripod so that you can make sure that horizontal lines are not tilted. There is a very small viewfinder on the camera, so small that I didn't notice it until after I had taken my photographs.
Impatiently I waited for Monday to arrive so that I could develop my film at work. Frustratingly I was set back by having to make up a new batch of ID11. My impatience was tested again as I had to wait for the ID11 to completely cool down before I processed my film. Such was my excitement I failed and continued to process my film anyway. Even so, I was rewarded with a clean set of slightly over developed images and I am pleased to report that my camera works!
We have fallen into the trap of believing that territory needs to be virgin for exploration to be possible or, failing this, an explorer must risk their life and dance with the extremes of physical endurance. Neither of these notions is true.
Tristan Gooley, 'The Natural Explorer'
After less than five minutes in my car I arrive at the coastline; my favourite nearby place to explore being where the Elliot is absorbed into the North Sea. I cannot tell you how many times I have visited this location for I frequent it regularly. Whether to lose myself in my thoughts and merge into the landscape, take photographs or to collect from the tide line. It is a dependable location, always there for me, providing me with solace, food for the soul and treasures from the sea. What I can tell you though is that the view is never the same.......ever changing.......endlessly providing me with inspiration and comfort.
In the hills too my soul is free to leave my body but the physical effort required to reach
the summit is sometimes too great as I am physically, mentally and environmentally challenged. The coast is my mother and the hills are my father. I am punished and rewarded by each. I cannot live without either and I am constantly torn betwixt the two of them
Having a full-time job and studying at the same time means that I have to be focused working consistently every Friday towards my Masters so that I am not overwhelmed by the workload. It is not long till our final show and I am now beginning to feel the pressure to produce quality finished works. On top of that I also have the dissertation to contend with. To date I have been reading texts and collecting quotes.
So it frustrated me very much that the weather this weekend was inclement as I had planned to take photographs with my new/old 35mm stereoscopic camera. I decided instead to launch my first 'message in a bottle' of 2017.
Saturday morning saw me revisiting the location of my 'lost' film with my ski friend Andrew Jackson. Andrew has been guiding me each Tuesday evening at Condor dry ski slope; my biggest problem being that I look down and not forwards! To reach the shoreline there is first a steep incline up the dunes. At the top of which you are rewarded by a panoramic elemental coastal fury of sound and space. Who said that living out of the town was the quiet option! They are not listening!
Today the sea was very angry with waves aplenty crashing onto the beach forcing us to navigate further inland. It was clear that a bottle launching would also have to be abandoned.
My normality when I visit the beach is to locate the tide line then look down and search for treasure. Today however so as not to be rude I purposely looked upwards and forwards, enjoying the view and the company of my friend.
On the return journey we investigated an abandoned house that has interested me. I have been desperate to go inside but a little afraid to do it by myself. Surprisingly it was the reverse of Dr Who's Tardis giving the illusion of looking larger on the outside. I fell in love instantly with the interior of this unloved and empty carcass that yielded delicious textures, colours and clues to it last tenants. Without a doubt I will be returning with my camera.
So it seems that my weekend has not been unfruitful as I am gifted yet again with a new viewpoint by my friend Andrew. He has reminded me that making is not just a physical response: it's about examining a number of perspectives beforehand then reflecting.
With the PG Diploma Show completed and feedback received it seemed wise to reflect on the works to date that I have produced and make a fresh plan of action for my Masters Show. Even though I received positive feedback there is no place for complacency. I do not wish to fall into the trap of making works that please then churning out like a machine facsimiles. The whole point of creating to me is the reward of hopefully making new discoveries. Not that this is an easy goal, far from it. My favourite photographer
Sally Mann describes this trajectory:
The first piece of work from my last submission for critical analysis is my Viewmaster reel of bones. Although I was happy with the curated collection photographed and the intimacy of the viewer experience it did not completely wow because the images where in 2D. Without an expensive 3D camera it was time to investigate how I might solve this problem.
A google search later and I found many tutorials on how to make a 3D image out of a two camera construct. From these I made my own plans for a homemade rig.
Then I remembered that somewhere in my extensive collection of cameras I owned a Wray Stereo Graphic 35mm film camera. After locating the camera and giving it a service I searched the internet for the instruction manual. I concluded that this would be a good starting point for immersing myself in the world of 3D image production.